You are an attorney, a consultant to the Heritage Foundation and the founder and president of Liberty Central, a non-profit Tea Party-affiliated lobbying group. In other words, by most objective standards, no slouch in the accomplished department. I suppose thatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve been itching to life coach you since you made that darned phone call to Anita Hill. Regardless of your intent, that action came not from the high-achieving advocate in a suit, but from Ginni the wife. It wasnâ€™t even made during business hours.
Iâ€™m a little uneasy about this because, frankly, thereâ€™s a good chance I am perpetuating a publicity stunt. It was a stunt, Ginni, right? Please tell me it was. Because thereâ€™s a part of me that thinks it wasnâ€™t and it makes me sad for what these last 19 years may have been like for you. The brave public face, the private wondering.
I have empathy for what might be going on in your head. But Ginni, youâ€™ve got to let it go. Youâ€™re married to Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, for goodness sake. In a land that â€“ to the extreme â€“ values marrying well (read: upwardly mobile and prominent as opposed to aligned in spirit) as a main ingredient in a successful life, youâ€™ve hit the jackpot. On the surface, youâ€™ve got the Holy Grail.
Thatâ€™s what made this interesting. Why let the public see a crack now?
Iâ€™m assuming you love the guy. I have no reason not to. So whatâ€™s going on? Marriage hit a rough patch? Doubts backing up on you? Find some porn? Realizing the â€śsuccessâ€ť track you chose comes with a price? The latter would almost be admirable, that something triggered you to make a grand gesture that would put your lingering Anita Hill demon to rest and might even spark renewal or awakening in your life.
Which brings me to the wording of your call. Letâ€™s review:
â€śI just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.â€ť
First of all, what makes you think Anita Hill hasnâ€™t been praying about this every day of her life? Second, um, Ginni, need I remind you the outcome of those confirmation hearings went your way? As columnist Anna Quindlen wrote in The New York Times in October of 1991, â€śShe got trashed and he got confirmed. Simple as that.â€ť
What were you thinking? Because if this wasnâ€™t the action of a distressed wife worrying about her marriage, then there must be some credence to what others are saying -- this is about the marketing of your causes. Itâ€™s a political attention-grab. If so, really? Youâ€™d stoop there for the Tea Party agenda? For love of country? Youâ€™re banking on supporters not only being OK with you conjuring up that old story but siding with you on dialing the phone 19 years after this thing was put to rest?
But you havenâ€™t put it to rest, have you? Youâ€™re doing a lot of meaningful work in your life, youâ€™re married to a powerful man and still Anita Hill is under your skin. This is like an elitist, more civilized version of those people who go on Jerry Springer to get in contact with some old nemesis because theyâ€™re still being haunted by the specter of a painful past. But if sharp political minds are correct, youâ€™re looking for a whole different kind of payoff than ratings.
If thatâ€™s true, wow. Iâ€™m honestly not sure if Iâ€™m equipped to coach someone who is unabashedly adept at turning victimhood into power and cash. Perhaps thatâ€™s why I am more inclined to think that phone call was made instead by an emotionally troubled wife who wants desperately to believe Hill was lying.
As Quindlen also wrote in October of 1991, â€śAnita Hill, poised and dignified, spoke up Monday and found herself aligned against the most powerful men in America, including the president. Who among us would have had the guts to pick up her slingshot?â€ť
Again, 19 years later, Hill was poised and dignified. She has moved on.
For your sake, Ginni, follow her lead. That might be your most impressive, rewarding accomplishment of all.